SOUTH FORK, Colo. – Divide District Ranger Martha Williamson has approved timber management activities in the Poage Lake area of the Rio Grande National Forest. Poage Lake is located 11 miles south of the town of South Fork and is a popular destination for fishermen.

The approved activities include harvesting more than 500 acres of dead spruce trees for commercial use and cutting down approximately 35 acres of hazard trees to improve safety around the lake. Additionally, spruce seedlings will be planted in areas where there are few remaining green trees.

Work could begin in the area around Poage Lake as early as the second half of 2016.

The dead Engelmann spruce trees in the Poage Lake area are the result of a spruce beetle epidemic that has infested more than 500,000 acres of spruce-fir forest on the Rio Grande National Forest.

The RGNF will continue to salvage dead and dying spruce trees for human benefit in areas designated for timber management as long as the trees are useable for commercial purposes. Funds generated by the timber sales help cover the costs for replanting seedlings in harvested or burned areas with inadequate regeneration to help provide a “jump-start” for the next forest.

For more information concerning the Poage Lake Spruce Beetle Salvage Project, visit the project webpage at or call the Divide Ranger District office at 719-657-3321.